PDA

View Full Version : Steelers survive Crowbar Bowl II



BlacknGold Bleeder
12-06-2010, 10:45 AM
Roethlisberger's pain threshold symbolic of what was needed to avenge loss to Ravens

By Gene Wojciechowski
ESPN.com

BALTIMORE -- Mike Tomlin stood outside the visitors locker room at M&T Bank Stadium as two Baltimore cops smushed a Pittsburgh Steelers fan's face against a white cinder block wall. The fan, wearing a LaMarr Woodley jersey, began screaming in pain as the cops pulled his arms behind his back and began to lead him away.

"Be cool, buddy," said the Steelers coach.

"Tomlin," said the man between screams, "I love you, baby!"

Only minutes removed from the Steelers' crucial 13-10 win against the Baltimore Ravens Sunday evening, Tomlin didn't try hiding a smile. He appreciates effort and passion -- and the apparently over-served fan had both.

The Ravens broke Roethlisberger's nose, but he played on.

So did Tomlin's underdog Steelers (9-3), which is how they beat the Ravens (8-4) to take a precious one-game lead in the AFC North -- The Division That Love Forgot. No other explanation works.

"C'mon, big boy," said Tomlin, as Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger limped down the field-level concourse and toward the locker room door.

Without Roethlisberger, the Ravens, not the Steelers, would be 9-3 today. Instead, the Steelers now have the very inside track to a playoff bye week and some type of home-field advantage.

This wasn't a football game; it was a bar fight in shoulder pads. It shouldn't have been played at this beauty of a stadium, but in the Octagon or a very dark alley.

Roethlisberger left here in a walking boot and with a broken nose so disfigured that you wondered how it still worked. But at least he had a win to show for it.

"I look like I went 12 rounds with [Manny] Pacquiao," Roethlisberger said.

Or four quarters with the Ravens, who won the Week 4 matchup in Pittsburgh 17-14.

"It's a Steelers-Ravens game, right?'' he said. "Hard fought all the way to the end."

Steelers tight end Heath Miller was knocked out -- and out of the game with a concussion. Steelers right tackle Flozell Adams, his leg dragging because of a high ankle sprain, had to be helped off the field. Even Steelers punter Daniel Sepulveda injured his ACL and is out for the remainder of the season.

"That's why we believe that's the No. 1 rivalry in football," Tomlin said afterward. "It's a humbling thing to be a part of … We've got a big-time respect for that football team. They've earned it and hopefully we've earned their respect."

The Steelers and Ravens might respect each other, but they don't like each other. If the NFL has a Bama-Auburn-like rivalry, this is it. You get bruises just watching it.

There was nothing subtle about the game. It was crowbar football. Hard shots. Borderline cheap shots. Pushing. Shoving. Woofing.

And that was just in the warm-ups.

[+] EnlargeJames Harrison, Troy Polamalu
Mitch Stringer/US PresswireIt was a hard-hitting night as always for James Harrison, left, and Troy Polamalu.

Figure on some NFL-imposed fines from the game -- not that the Ravens or Steelers care. Pittsburgh got a December victory that bumps it to nine victories with only four regular-season games remaining. Unless they turn into the Carolina Panthers, I like the Steelers' chances to hold on to the division lead -- amazing, given the number of injuries they've had.

Depending on the source, Roethlisberger either played the game with a broken bone in his right foot (his plant foot for passes) or, according to the Steelers, he aggravated a previous injury (which happened to be a broken foot). Doesn't matter, he was hurting.

Then Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata popped him in the nose with a hand that got through Roethlisberger's face mask. Suddenly, Roethlisberger's nose looked like a blood geyser.

"The broken nose took a lot of the [foot] pain away,'' he said.

Roethlisberger stayed in the game, even though the Steelers had to scrap all plays requiring him to take snaps under center. He couldn't move well enough for that.

"He actually looks better with a broken nose,'' said Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward. "He's a warrior."

He wasn't the only one. Sepulveda, screwed-up ACL and all, couldn't punt anymore, but he still limped onto the field to hold for kicks.

"And we respect him for that," Tomlin said.

This rivalry would expect no less. It is played by two teams that play hard, hit hard and talk hard. Who cares if it was a low-scoring game, or if there were a combined 18 penalties, or that no player rushed for more than 45 yards or threw for more than 266 yards?

Roethlisberger's pain threshold and Steelers safety Troy Polamalu's fumble-producing sack of Joe Flacco late in the fourth quarter were the difference-makers. Well, that and a stiff December wind that convinced Ravens coach John Harbaugh to forget about a 48-yard, game-tying field goal attempt and instead try to convert a fourth-and-2 from the Pittsburgh 31 with 37 seconds remaining.

Tough to second-guess Harbaugh's decision, especially with the Wizard of Oz-like wind conditions. Flacco had tight end Ed Dickson open, but short-hopped the pass.

"But we're going to move on,'' said Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs, who terrorized the Steelers' offensive line. "It's going to suck. It's going to hurt tonight, but the moment I get home, I'm going to kiss both of my babies and get over it … I may have some diapers to change. Daddy will be daddy.''

And this rivalry will be The Rivalry. Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel said it takes his body four to five days to heal after a Ravens game. Ward acknowledged the intensity of the New York Jets-New England Patriots matchup, but "this rivalry has been going on for years. … To beat Baltimore on the road, they're over there sick right now.''

If you can find beauty in brutality, then Steelers-Ravens is the place to be. Don't believe me? Then ask the Steelers fan in the Woodley No. 56 jersey. He might be still in lockup.

Farrior Fan
12-06-2010, 10:53 AM
great article. Love the Ben quote "The broken nose took a lot of the [foot] pain away,'' he said.

I swear he needs a new nickname. Big Ben is fine but the guy is impossible to bring down in big plays. He's tougher than nails, and thank God he is a Pittsburgh Steeler.

BlitzburghRockCity
12-06-2010, 11:02 AM
You could see that Ben really started to get more comfortable and loosen up i n the 2nd half. He was much more comfortable, able to scramble out of trouble, and do the normal Ben things we're used to seeing out of him. They kept him in the shotgun a lot to minimize the amount of drop backs and pressure being put on that bad foot. Ben sucked it up there and knew he had to make plays, and that pass to Manny down at the 2 was vintage Ben. Roll out from pressure and make the big play.

Both teams know games like this are what make the NFL great. Division rivals, physical, tough, emotions running high, everything on the line. You can credit the Steelers D as much as Ravens offensive play calling last night for that 2nd half meltdown. The Ratbirds lost that killer instinct in the 2nd quarter. Partly due to the pressure we were getting and partly due to just doing what they do every week.

steelers4life66
12-06-2010, 11:18 AM
Hines Ward: "To beat Baltimore on the road, they're over there sick right now.'':rofl::barf:

RIVERS OF STEEL
12-06-2010, 11:24 AM
What would you be thinking if you were a Bengals player. Fk no. Not them.

--- Added 12/6/2010 at 10:24 AM ---


great article. Love the Ben quote "The broken nose took a lot of the [foot] pain away,'' he said.

I swear he needs a new nickname. Big Ben is fine but the guy is impossible to bring down in big plays. He's tougher than nails, and thank God he is a Pittsburgh Steeler.

Monster from the Monongahela .

Farrior Fan
12-06-2010, 11:24 AM
What would you be thinking if you were a Bengals player. Fk no. Not them.

I think TO and 85 are thinking, just find a way to throw it deep and we win. :cursin:

DIESELMAN
12-06-2010, 11:53 AM
It was a great hard fought game that everyone, including the players knew it would come down to the wire, with one team making critical mistake/turnover and the other team capitalizing on it. I would say props to the Ravens for a good game but they are already running their mouth on how they gave the game away, we didn't win it. **** the Ratbirds!!!

BlacknGold Bleeder
12-06-2010, 11:53 AM
I think TO and 85 are thinking, just find a way to throw it deep and we win. :cursin:

Let 'em think that ..we all know how short ocho's arms get when he plays the STEELERS !!

LarryNJ
12-06-2010, 12:00 PM
Mike Tomlin stood outside the visitors locker room at M&T Bank Stadium as two Baltimore cops smushed a Pittsburgh Steelers fan's face against a white cinder block wall. The fan, wearing a LaMarr Woodley jersey, began screaming in pain as the cops pulled his arms behind his back and began to lead him away.

"Be cool, buddy," said the Steelers coach.

"Tomlin," said the man between screams, "I love you, baby!"

:lol: That drunk bastard had to make Tomlin smile.

It has really been a fun rivalry, lets hope it continues after this core of players move on.

HUNT4SEVEN
12-06-2010, 12:01 PM
Great read:clap:Man it feels great beating the Rats, remember now we beat them with our 2nd/3rd string Left Tackle,3rd string RG and 2nd/3rd string RT I like Tra Essex at tackle anyways, Brett being back made a real difference on the D-Line, If we can get Smith back for a playoff run it's on like pop corn:popcorn2:

Scorp
12-06-2010, 12:09 PM
The AFC North rivalry between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens has a reputation for physicality. One look at the face of Ben Rothlisberger revealed that Sunday night's showdown between the teams was no exception.

The Steelers' quarterback left the field with a crooked and bloody nose after being sacked for an 8-yard loss on the team's first offensive series, the result of Haloi Ngata’s left arm hitting his facemask. As trainers tended to him on the sideline, it quickly became apparent from multiple TV camera angles that Roethlisberger’s nose was in bad shape.

"Someone just came through and a hand got through my facemask," Roethlisberger said. "The next thing you know, I feel blood running down my face."

He spent much of the following series trying to stop the bleeding, and his jersey was soon spattered with blood.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin confirmed moments after Pittsburgh's 13-10 victory that his quarterback had broken his nose on the play.

Roethlisberger, already playing with a broken bone in his foot, returned for the next series.

While Roethlisberger's injury was perhaps the night's most memorable, the scariest moment involved Steelers tight end Heath Miller, who was concussed after a hard hit delivered by linebacker Jameel McClain in the third quarter.

Much to the surprise of Chris Collinsworth in the broadcast booth, no penalty was called on the hit that snapped Miller's head back, which left him motionless on the field for several minutes while being tended to by team doctors. He was eventually able to walk to the sidelines under his own power.

Ravens tight end Todd Heap strained his hamstring on the first play from scrimmage, while Steelers right tackle Flozell Adams sprained his ankle when it was rolled up on in the third quarter. Steelers punter Daniel Sepulveda injured his knee in the second quarter, with placekicker Shaun Suisham forced to fill in for the rest of the game.

Tomlin said after the game that Sepulveda has an anterior cruciate ligament injury and is likely done for the season.

Roethlisberger, meanwhile, told reporters that he has kept the self-examination of his face to a minimum.

"I looked real quick," he said. "It hopefully will be fixed tomorrow. It looks like I just went 12 rounds with (boxer Manny) Pacquiao."

Scorp
12-06-2010, 12:11 PM
Ben Roethlisberger threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Isaac Redman with 2:51 left after Troy Polamalu forced a fumble with a sack of Joe Flacco, and the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens 13-10 on Sunday night to gain sole possession of first place in the AFC North.

A fierce defensive battle turned when Polamalu hit Flacco's arm on a safety blitz. The loose ball was taken 19 yards by Lamarr Woodley to the Baltimore 9, setting up Pittsburgh's lone touchdown.

After throwing two incomplete passes, Roethlisberger dumped a short toss over the middle to Redman, who broke two tackles on his way to the end zone.

Baltimore's ensuing drive ended when Joe Flacco bounced a fourth-down pass to Ed Dickson with 33 seconds remaining.

HUNT4SEVEN
12-06-2010, 12:28 PM
I knew Joe Choke O would come through when we needed him to, Also congrats to Lebeau for calling a great Blitz even though we thought it was gonna be a running play:lol:

steelersbabex25
12-06-2010, 02:57 PM
"He actually looks better with a broken nose,'' said Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward. "He's a warrior."

I was watching the game with my family last night, and I said something along the lines of, "they really need to get that blood of his nose..it's really bothering me." And they said that he probably left it there on purpose because it made him look tough :lol: They probably had a fresh white jersey ready for him too.

BlacknGold Bleeder
12-06-2010, 03:10 PM
December 6, 2010 1:09 PM


From John Phillips
In this day and age where we live in the now and tend to see then next-best thing right around the corner of every channel we surf, the hype leading up to Sunday Nights AFC North battle between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens seemed almost too much. How could this game live up to the billing?
Could these two teams possibly deliver on the promise of another classic matchup that would equal its buildup?

You bet it did.

And then some.

What unfolded last night at M&T Bank Stadium in crab land had to be the hardest hitting one in the series to date, numbering 28 after last night and giving the Steelers a 17-11 edge.

The win also put the Steelers in sole possession of 1st place of the division and because they have a better division record, gives them the tie breaker at the moment over Baltimore if the two teams end up tied with the same record at the end of the regular season.

Some thoughts on last night, starting with Roethlisberger. He never ceases to amaze me. With a broken foot, he takes a shot from Ravens nose tackle Haloti Ngata and has his schnoz busted open. Now I know football is a contact sport, but shouldn’t there have been a flag on that play for a blow to the head? The nose is attached to the head right?

How about that play Ben made when Ravens LB Terrell Suggs was drapped all over him on 1st & goal, trying to strip Ben of the football. Roethlisberger shook the hard charging Suggs away, turned his body, moved out of the pocket and chucked the ball towards the sideline, as to not get a flag for intentional grounding.

That’s known as football smarts.

Yes, Ben was his usual super self, but there were others that were participants in the Poe like story. The most notable being Troy Polamalu.

The man of Troy came up with what had to be the game changing moment late in the 4th quarter when his team needed just that as he stripped the football out of Baltimore QB Joe Flacco’s throwing hand, allowing Lamar Woodley to recover it and return the fumble to the Ravens 9.

Normally Baltimore wouldn’t fret as their defense has not allowed a touchdown all season when the offense turns the ball over, numbering 16 in all.

All good things must come to and end however and it did three plays later when Roethlisberger found Isaac Redman open. The 3rd down specialist broke several tackles on his way to the end zone and gave the Steelers its 1st lead of the game.

The defense came on and did just enough to keep the Ravens out of the end zone and field goal range, forcing a turnover on downs at their 31.

Now to the Heath Miller incident in the 3rd quarter. Is it me, or was I watching the same game as the Zebra’s being paid to officiate this contest?

I was sitting in my game room in Pittsburgh watching it on my big screen and I could hear the helmet-to-helmet hit placed on Miller by Ravens LB Jameel McClain. It was a clear blow to the head by McClain and should have drawn a flag but for some strange reason, the officials didn’t see it.

You heard me conspiracy theorists. With all the talk about over sensitive officials and how the league has told them to err on the side of caution and throw a flag if it’s even close, they chose not to do so on that play.

Inexcusable.

Somebody should throw a flag on this crew for missing such an obvious call.

Al Michaels & Chris Collinsworth were calling the game on NBC and were both livid, with Collinsworth really going off about it saying a hit like that is exactly what the league is trying to prevent. Later in the broadcast, an NFL official told the broadcasters that a flag should have been throw.

Ya think so?

Despite all of that. Despite the injuries, the penalties, the hostile environment, the officials looking the other way and trailing for 57+ minutes, the Steelers willed themselves to victory and at the moment, the 2nd seed in the upcoming NFL Tournament.

With four weeks left to play and just one game remaining against an opponent with a winning record, (NY Jets) things are looking good for the guys in Black-N-Gold. Let’s strap in for a wild ride to the finish line.

RIVERS OF STEEL
12-06-2010, 10:47 PM
Different Target: Steelers Now Control AFC North:http://ne8.org/13u
Source: NYT Sports 12/06/2010 @08:16pm est.
wire: nfl ticker @http://ne8.org/13v